Ex-Burnley and Stoke City man Phil Bardsley retires aged 37
Former Burnley defender Phil Bardsley has announced his retirement from the professional game aged 37.
Bardsley played six times for the Clarets during a loan spell from Manchester United in the 2005/06 campaign.
He returned to Turf Moor on a permanent deal in the summer of 2017 and went on to make a further 70 appearances over the next five seasons, featuring in the Europa League qualifiers the following season.
The full-back, who also won 13 caps for Scotland, was one of a number of players released at the end of their respective deals after relegation from the Premier League in 2022.
Bardsley had a stint at League Two side Stockport during the second half of last term, donating his entire wage to charity.
But the 37-year-old made just three appearances at Edgeley Park due to injury as the Hatters came up just short against Carlisle in the play-off final at Wembley.
He has now called time on a 20-year playing career that included spells with Aston Villa, Sunderland and Stoke among others.
Last year, Bardsley told talkSPORT: “(My Burnley exit) was quite difficult, it came out on Sky Sports News.
“You have to say your goodbyes. You don’t really want to be in the group chats anymore, that’s the most difficult thing.
“On the same day as I said my goodbyes to the lads, four or five players did the same thing so it was tough.
“It’s strange, I had a good relationship with the hierarchy at Burnley. They were coming to me asking for advice with the squad and how the players were feeling, so it was a little bit weird the way it all unfolded in terms of being released.
“There were a lot of experienced players there, you wouldn’t expect that. There was me, Aaron Lennon, Dale Stephens, Erik Pieters – players that have played at a good level for a long period of time.
“I don’t think it would have been hard just to pick the phone up and have that conversation with them.”
Pole position: Burnley has now move to sign “excellent” star for Kompany, formal bid made
Burnley: Clarets only club bidding for Jack Clarke
Burnley have been given some good news in their pursuit of Jack Clarke, with reliable journalist Alan Nixon reporting that only the Clarets are bidding for the player despite interest from elsewhere.
How many goals has Jack Clarke scored for Sunderland?
The winger finally managed to get regular first-team football after his move to Sunderland, and played in nearly every single Championship game over the course of last season.
Having struggled to start games with Leeds and then had to make do with loan spells after being snatched up by Tottenham, his permanent switch to the Stadium of Light has led to a lot more minutes. That, in turn, has led to an increased output. Playing 45 times for them in the second tier – the first time he has ever managed more than 25 games in a season – he bagged nine goals and a further eleven assists.
It meant that Clarke led the entire league for assists and he also ranked eighth for his goal contribution tally – and when you consider who else plays in that league and the fact it is his first real season in the first-team, it makes for impressive reading.
Are Burnley signing Jack Clarke?
Those performances have now led to interest from elsewhere, with Burnley keen to take him into the Premier League with them ahead of the next campaign. Everton are amongst the other clubs that have also been linked with a deal for the player but it appears that the Clarets are firmly in pole position – and have a great chance to land the winger.
That’s because according to a report from reliable journalist Alan Nixon, Burnley are the only team that are making actual bids to bring Clarke to Turf Moor.
No other interested side – such Crystal Palace, Brentford or the Toffees – have launched a concrete offer and that means Burnley are currently clear to bid as they please for him. They’ve already seen two bids rejected though – the latest being for £10m – and it appears as though the Black Cats won’t budge until there is more on the table for the player.
The forward may only have really bagged regular first-team action for the first time in 2022/23, but he is already drawing high praise from those who have watched him. Football journalist and SAFC supporter Josh Bunting for example stated that Clarke was “excellent” for Sunderland this season because of his goals and consistency.
Burnley then would be a good next step for the player – but as yet, they are yet to convince the Black Cats to part ways with the youngster.
Further details emerge of Burnley’s transfer pursuit of Millwall player
Burnley have already had two bids rejected for Millwall’s Zian Flemming.
Burnley have had two offers for Millwall’s Zian Flemming rejected, and they’re now mulling over whether to make a third offer for the attacker.
Millwall reject Burnley bids for Zian Flemming
The Dutch attacking midfielder was brought to The Den for a club-record £1.7m fee last summer from Fortuna Sittard, and it has turned out to be a shrewd investment from the Londoners
Flemming enjoyed a fine first season in England, scoring 15 goals as Gary Rowett’s side just missed out on a play-off place. Therefore, it’s perhaps no surprise that his form has attracted attention.
It was revealed last week that the 24-year-old was on the radar of the newly-promoted Clarets, with further reports stating that they had offered around €8m for the player, which was turned down.
In a fresh update though, TEAMtalk has claimed that Burnley have actually had two bids for Flemming rejected, although there was no figure mentioned. Now, they claim that Burnley are still undecided whether they go in with a third offer for the club.
Vincent Kompany is keen to add to his squad, whilst the prospect of moving to Turf Moor is likely to appeal to Flemming as it would give him his first taste of Premier League football.
But, Rowett will be determined to keep the forward in the capital, and he is looking to add to his squad as they hope to push for promotion next season.
Will Zian Flemming leave Millwall?
Unfortunately, the reality for all clubs in the Championship is that you’re vulnerable should a Premier League club come in and target one of your players. The finances in the top-flight means they can put down huge money to other clubs and to the individuals with a contract, so it can be difficult to convince players to remain in the second tier.
With Flemming, Millwall are at least protected by the fact he has years left on his contract having only joined last summer, and he doesn’t seem the sort of character that will kick up a fuss to move on. But, every player has a price, and if Burnley hit that number, then it’s about cashing in, reinvesting and moving on.
The fact they’ve had two offers turned down already shows that Kompany is a massive fan of the former Ajax youngster, so it will be interesting to see what happens next. For Millwall, it would undo a lot of their good work in the window so far, but the recruitment team at The Den deserve credit for finding Flemming, and they will back themselves to replace him if he does move on.